Therapy for ADHD

ADHD is one of the most common neuro-developmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and is likely to last into adulthood

Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviours (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active. Adults with ADHD do not tend to be as hyperactive but will describe feeling more restless, and may continue to have issues with impulse control, difficulty controlling emotions, attention, planning, organising and may lose and misplace their belongings.

Types of ADHD

There are three different ways ADHD presents itself, depending on which types of symptoms are strongest in the individual. Because symptoms can change over time, the presentation descriptor that accompanies the diagnosis of ADHD may change over time as well.

Predominantly Inattentive Presentation

It is hard for the individual to organise or finish a task, to pay attention to details, or to follow instructions or conversations. The person is easily distracted or forgets details of daily routines.

Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation

The person fidgets and talks a lot. It is hard to sit still for long (e.g., for a meal or while doing homework). Smaller children may run, jump or climb constantly. The individual feels restless and has trouble with impulsivity. Someone who is impulsive may interrupt others a lot, grab things from people, or speak at inappropriate times. It is hard for the person to wait their turn or listen to directions. A person with impulsiveness may have more accidents and injuries than others.

Combined Presentation

Symptoms of the above two types are equally present in the person.

ADHD Assessments

Several practitioners at The READ Clinic offer ADHD assessments for children and adults.

ADHD Assessments for Children

The psychologist undertakes a thorough, evidence-based assessment to explore the signs and symptoms of ADHD and whether your child meets criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD. This includes a detailed 1hr initial assessment with you and your child. This initial assessment then guides the specific assessment that will be tailored to your child, which can often take between 2-4hrs to complete.  The assessment will vary depending on the age of your child and whether they are in preschool, primary, high school or working. The evidence based assessment can include your child completing:

  1. IQ Assessment;
  2. Educational Assessment;
  3. Specific assessments that measures Attention and Impulsivity;
  4. ADHD specific screeners for parents, child and teachers;
  5. Measure of Executive Functioning;

Your child’s psychologist will use:

  1. the information from these assessments,
  2. information from your child’s school reports
  3. any other medical report you provide,
  4. their observations of your child in the testing environment,

to develop a detailed list of recommendations that can support and guide the needs of your child. The Psychologist who completed the assessment can then support you, if required, to implement the recommendations and undertake therapy specific to ADHD.

ADHD Assessments for Adults

The psychologist undertakes a thorough, evidence-based assessment to explore the signs and symptoms of ADHD in Adults. This includes a detailed 1hr initial assessment. This initial assessment then guides the specific assessment that will be tailored to you, which can often take between 2-3hrs to complete.  The assessment will vary depending on what you require the assessment for. The evidence based assessment can include:

  1. IQ Assessment;
  2. Educational Assessment;
  3. Specific assessments that measures Attention and Impulsivity;
  4. ADHD specific screeners for you (and possibly someone who knows you well);
  5. Measure of Executive Functioning.

Your Psychologist will use:

  1. the information from these assessments,
  2. School reports if you have them,
  3. any other medical/psychological reports you provide,
  4. their observations of you in the testing environment,

to develop a detailed list of recommendations that can support and guide how you manage the symptoms of ADHD. The Psychologist who completed the assessment can then support you, if required, to implement the recommendations and undertake therapy specific to ADHD in adults.

Therapy for ADHD

Therapy for Children with ADHD

The Child & Family Psychologists at The READ Clinic are experienced in supporting children with ADHD and their families. In most cases, ADHD is best treated with a combination of behaviour therapy and medication. For younger children with ADHD, behaviour therapy, particularly training for parents, is recommended as the first line of treatment before medication is tried. However, what works best can depend on the child and family and at The READ Clinic the treatment will be tailored to suit your goals and values. Good treatment plans will include close monitoring, follow-ups, and making changes, if needed, along the way.

Therapy for Adults with ADHD

Some adults have ADHD but have never been diagnosed. They become aware of the need for an assessment, when their children are diagnosed with ADHD and they notice that they also have the signs and symptoms of ADHD. The symptoms can cause difficulty at work, at home, with parenting or with relationships. Symptoms may look different at older ages, for example, hyperactivity may appear as extreme restlessness. Symptoms can become more severe when the demands of adulthood increase. 

Treatment is again usually a combination of medication and cognitive behavioural interventions, including:

  • More effective time management skills
  • Managing negative emotions
  • Understanding behavioural patterns
  • Coping with stress and stressful obligations
  • Carving out time for self-care
  • Challenging self-defeating behaviours

Group therapy sessions for adults with ADHD coming soon. Register your interest by emailing courses@thereadclinic.com

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